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Monday, February 19, 2018

Cherry Coke Cake

An introduction on February 19, 1985 made this cake doable. Thank you Cherry Coke

2¼ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
½ tsp pure almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup Cherry Coca Cola
½ cup buttermilk
1½ cup miniature marshmallows

Chocolate Cherry Coco Cola Frosting:
½ cup butter
¾ cup Cherry Coca Cola
½ cup cocoa
4 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp pure almond extract
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Whipped cream and maraschino cherries for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with baking spray.
Sift together the all purpose flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pure vanilla and pure almond extract. Cream until light beige in color.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Whisk together the Cherry Coca Cola and buttermilk. Set aside and allow the foam to die down.
Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the dry ingredients. Stop and crape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat just until blended.
After all of the ingredients have been added mix-in the marshmallows by hand.
Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bounce on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center shows moist crumbs.
To make the frosting, place the butter, cherry coke and cocoa in a small saucepan. Place onto the stove and bring to a boil. Cook until the butter has completely melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, almond extract and toasted pecans. Mix well.
Pour over the warm cake immediately. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting or chill.
Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry, if desired.

To toast the pecans, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely.

Chocolate Mint Day ----- Copy Cat Chocolate Mint Cookies Recipe

Chocolate mint lovers should rejoice as February 19th the date for National Chocolate Mint day is observed today. It started many many centuries ago with the Aztecs and Mayans and their invention of chocolate. The Europeans would capture this resource and take it back to Europe where the dark, bitter flavor would be used in medicine. The dark hot chocolate would be used in hot drinks that would have mint , cinnamon and other spices mixed in to enhance the taste. Time would go by and sugar would be added to the now fashionable chocolate mint duo.

Mass production of candy during the 1800s would help make chocolate mints a favorite of many. The small candies would be served at small candy shops where all had access to them. It was not until the early 1900s that chocolate mints would be advertised until then the news of such a delicious treat was spread by word alone. 

Mint chocolates can now be found in ice cream, brownies , cookies, candies, and whatever you desire that chocolate mint taste to be in. Did you know that chocolate mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and make up 25% of all girl scout sales. 

3/4 cup (172g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 large Eggland's Best egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract1
1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
3/4 cup (63g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 ounces (395g) quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract1
Sifter (here's the one I own and love)
2-inch-- or similar small size-- circle cookie cutter (I own this set, another option here and 2.5-inch option here)
Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper between) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. You can chill up to 2 days.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut in circles. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
Bake for 8 minutes-- the cookies will still appear soft. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
Once the cookies are cool, begin the topping: Melt the chopped chocolate and oil together in a double boiler or (carefully!) use the microwave. For the microwave, place the chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Once melted, stir in the peppermint extract. Dip each cooled cookie completely into the chocolate and use a fork to lift out. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Once set, enjoy! The cookies are best cold. I love eaten straight from the freezer!
Make ahead tip: Cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if desired. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 3). You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.

Recipe Notes:
Avoid using mint extract; I find it more resembles the taste of spearmint toothpaste than anything else. Peppermint extract has that wonderful cool mint flavor which pairs wonderfully with chocolate.
I've been getting questions about using this recipe as a slice 'n' bake cookie to avoid rolling out the dough. This is doable, just keep in mind the dough is a little sticky. Roll into two 2-3 inch diameter logs, then chill for at least 1 hour as directed above. Then slice and bake.
recipe source here

Celebrating the Birth of a Singer / SongWriter

Henry Olusegun Adeloa Samuel was born February 19, 1963. He would become professionally known as Seal, a singer and songwriter. Through the many years of entertainment Seal has sold more than 20 million records worldwide. Seal has also appeared as a coach on one of my all time favorite shows The Voice Seal has been honored with awards including the Grammy Award as well as MTV video Music Award.

Born in London England Henry Samuel or Seal celebrated life with a Nigerian mother and a Brazilian father. Seal would be raised by a foster family in Westminster London and attend school going on to earn a diploma in architecture. Seal would sing in local clubs and bars in the 1980s. In 1987 he would join a British funk band by the name of Push. The band toured in Japan. Seal would later tour in Thailand with a blues band before heading off on his own. The first song Seal would make it big with would be Killer in 1990.

Happy Presidents Day

The third Monday of February in the United States of America is known as Washington's Birthday. It is a federal holiday that honors all presidents of the United States including but not limited to George Washington. 

Washington's birthday honors the life and work of George Washington and occurs on February 22. Washington was the first president of the United States. President day honors all past presidents of the USA. 

Another presidents birthday that was in February was President Lincolns. It too is often celebrated. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the start of freedom for America's slaves as well as allowed black soldiers to fight for the union. President Lincoln strongly supported the thirteenth amendment and ended slavery keeping the country together. 

Bit of Background on George Washington would show that he was the first president of the United States of America from 1789 to 1793 and then again 1793 to 1797. Prior to becoming president Washington had been important in the military world. He had been instrumental in leading the American Continental Army to victory over British. 

Washington and Lincoln have been honored in many ways including portraits on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, Washington's and Lincoln's faces have been placed on American cash and coins.  

The District of Columbia was first to honor Washington's birthday in 1880 and by 1885 it was a federal holiday. In 1971 Presidents date was established on the third Monday in February not on February 22, Washington's birthday. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Stealing

Tea and Q & A 

1 What is your middle name and what is a middle name you'd rather have instead? Why?
2. How would you spend $1MM (you have to spend every penny!)
3. Yellow light - speed up or slow down??
4. What was the last movie you saw and what did you like/dislike about it?
5. If a movie was made about you, who would portray you in that movie?
6. What is the strangest thing you've eaten and what did it taste like?
7. What color is your bathroom?
8. If you could vacation anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would it be and why?
9. What is your least favorite thing to cook?
10. What is the dish you make that your family rolls their eyes at?
11. What are three things on your bucket list?
12. How many skeins of yarn do you think you are currently hoarding?
13. Today is my birthday.  What virtual gift are you going to give me?
14. What is your favorite candy?
15. What is your favorite time of the day and why?
16. If you could call in sick for a day, what would you do with the time?
17. How much did your last crafting run cost you?
18. Can you play a musical instrument and if so, which one?
19. What is your least favorite craft that you still do? Why?
20. If you could have any job for just one day, what would it be and what would you do?

My middle name is Kay and proud to have it, the name is my mothers middle name as well so unless they would give me the middle name of "Queen" then I think I have a great one 

Goodness gracious I think I would get my family and friends in on this. The first 10% going to the church after that lots of fun, homes for my entire family and stock up on all

Ask my children they would say depends on where the other cars are. I say slow down or stop they say speed up before the red light shows up

Last movie , old western ones at work and I loved who I watched it with

A strong individual who can do me justice. Not a beautiful star but one that looks like she has endured through a life

Wow hard one must have been a chinese casserole at daughters house and it tasted o.k. in fact it surprised me

my bathroom is blue and white

I want to take my husband to both the mountains and Florida. Simply because we want to go and after being together 30+ years I want to travel with him

I can not dont ask me why but I can not grill

It all depends as we have a large family some love hamburger rice and cheese casserole and others do not, some love spaghetti and others do not you know the list goes on and on like this

My bucket list includes lot of travel and seeing things that are in the world but I want to see them

yarn is something my grand-daughter may have or I use in ways most do not such as tying things together we do not have much if any around the house

A virtual box of chocolate and a teddy bear would be the gift I would give you

I love gumdrops and chocolates 

my favorite time of day on work days is getting off time. While I love my job and those I take care of it is a bit challenge and at the end of the day I am ready to see those I love and go home

So many things that I am behind on that I would simply use the day to catch up

It was for my grand-daughter so I would say a hot $20 

I played the clarinet in band for 8 years 

I do not do as much crafting as I once did I do help my children with many crafts and love that all but the slime making that I can do without

I want to show those in charge how a frugal wife and mother would do things given the chance 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another Great Way to Save a Life

Organ donation is the process of surgically removing an organ or tissue from one person (the organ donor) and placing it into another person (the recipient).Transplantation is necessary because the recipient's organ has failed or has been damaged by disease or injury. In the United States there is a large shortage of organ donors. Individuals on the organ transplant list can be waiting for quite some time. Normally the wait is between several months to years. Many on the list may die waiting for an organ to be donated. By signing up for organ donating you , your family and friends can help save lives. 

Did you know
  • someone is added to transplant list every 10 minutes
  • There will be an average of 20 individuals that will pass away waiting for an organ.
  • there are more than 115,000 individuals waiting for an organ. 
  • Kidney: 95,353 people. Liver: 13,876 people. Heart: 4,004 people. Lung: 1,395 people. Pancreas: 897 people.
  • Most common transplant in United States is the cornea. Each year there are more than 40,000 cornea transplants every year. 

As a registered organ donor, your donation has the potential to save or improve more than 50 lives. One donor can provide:
  • Kidneys.
  • Pancreas.
  • Liver.
  • Lungs.
  • Heart.
  • Intestinal organs.
Registering is easy. When you apply for or renew your driver's license you can simply sign up for organ donation. Sign up online at your state's organ donor registry is another great way to register. Share this information with friends and family so they too can register if they wish. 
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Who Was Susan B Anthony

One pioneer crusader of the woman suffrage movement in the United States was born on this day February 15, 1820. Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams Massachusetts. Anthony worked hard along side others involved in the 
suffrage movement that would help pave way for future women. The 19th amendment of the constitution passed in 1920 that gave women the right to vote. 

Susan B Anthony born February 15, 1820 grew up in Adams Massachusetts. Her family was politically active in causes to end slavery in the abolitionist movement, the temperance movement which wanted alcohol sales to be limited or ended. Susan herself was inspired to work towards a cause as well and chose to fight for women's rights. This may have been the result of her not having right to speak at the temperance convention because she was a woman. She wanted women to have the right to vote

Susan B Anthony died on March 13, 1906. Women still had not been given the right to vote. It would be another 14 years before the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution would give adult women the chance to vote. In 1979 the U.S. Treasury department put Anthony's portrait on one dollar coins.

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Oh Sweet Gumdrops

Gumdrops are normally fruit or spice flavored pieces of gelatin like candy that have been sugar coated. While normally conical in shape this is not always the case. Other shapes have included but are not limited to orange slices, licorice babies, spearmint leaves and animals. Top choice flavors of gumdrops include cherry, grape, orange, lemon and spice flavors like cloves, cinnamon, mint and anise or licorice. 

Percy Trusdale has been credited with inventing the gumdrop in 1801. The first gumdrops would most likely have been flavored with spices. Orange --- clove, Yellow---- allspice, Red---- cinnamon, Green---- spearmint, Purple----- anise, White---- wintergreen or peppermint and Black ---- licorice. 

Gumdrops, spice drops and the such are used in baking, candy crafting, decorating and for simply enjoying as a snack. Gumdrops have often been used for decorating cakes and cupcakes

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook time:30 minutes

• 2 Eggs 
• 1 cup Sugar 
• 1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
• 1 cup Flour 
• ¼ tsp Salt 
• ½ cup Gumdrops, chopped (avoid the black ones) 
• ½ cup Almonds, chopped

• Grease a 9″x9″x2″ baking pan.
• Preheat oven to 325°.
• Sift together flour and salt.
• Fold the chopped gumdrops and chopped almonds into the flour mixture, set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy.
• Beat in sugar and vanilla.
• Remove bowl from mixer, and add the flour mixture to egg mixture, blending together by hand.
• Spoon batter into your greased baking pan, spreading evenly.
• Bake in a preheated 325°oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
• Note: you will see a slight cracking at the top, but the inside will still be moist when baked.
• Remove from oven and allow cookie bars to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, on a wire rack.
• Cut the gumdrop cookies into squares inside your pan while still warm.
• Allow gumdrop cookies to cool completely in the pan before removing.

Makes 16 Gumdrop Cookie Bars

recipe resource here

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